Digitizing sponsorDenver and Rio Grande Western Railroad
Railroad tour through the state of Utah, stopping off at many natural attractions and in Salt Lake City. Shows Arches National Monument and the mineral resources of Utah, including coal and copper. Director: Carlton T. Sills.
Reviewer:Cindy L. Espinoza
December 31, 2005 Subject:
Desert Empire (full film)
A travelogue, this film provides a guided tour of pre-World War II Utah and of course does not pretend to cinematic greatness. Recommended viewing for those in search of introductory Utah history. Also valuable for persons seeking insight into the state as it would have looked during this time period. Especially informative for those desiring a window into the past for a view of how Utah was in the days of their pre-World War II progenitors living in the state. Those whose Utah ancestors were involved in mining, railroading, sugar beets, and other featured industries; featured towns, sights, recreational attractions, and industries may find this otherwise banal travelogue a quite valuable addition to their family history.
This Universal travelogue (featuring the ultra-cool giant-letters-going-around-the-earth Universal Pictures logo) tells us everything we'd ever want to, and never want to, know about Utah, including way too much information about copper mining. The narration is some of the most bombastic I've ever encountered, making this film extremely mstable. Still, I must admit that this is well-made; the visuals are striking for the most part and the narration, bombastic as it is, keeps things moving. So despite its laughable moments, this is one of the better travelogues I've seenÃÂÃÂit even makes me want to visit Utah. And since it was made in the 30s, it has a great deal of historical interest to offer as well.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Quite THOROUGH and (sorry) endless doc about the wonders of Utah, first covering it's industries, it's topography and it's cities. fasicinatingly produced by Universal Pictures, it's other major sponsor was the Rio Grande Railraod, so you guessed it, all of the voyage is by train. A spotty film, with pockets of interest here and there, It's not really worth dedicating 1/2 an hour to.